UTeach Institute and Partners Receive $4.6 Million U.S. DOE Grant to Expand Computer Science Education

UTeach Institute and Partners Receive $4.6 Million U.S. DOE Grant to Expand Computer Science Education

10.11.2018

The UTeach Institute, in partnership with the University of North Texas, Louisiana State University, University of Houston, University of Texas, and the American Institutes for Research (AIR), has been awarded a $4.6 million Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) grant, Expanding and Strengthening the STEM Teacher Workforce Through UTeach, to 1) expand UTeach secondary STEM teacher preparation pathways, 2) increase the number of computer science (CS) teachers in high needs schools, and 3) study the role that CS curriculum and teacher support play in strengthening CS education over the next three years.

This project directly addresses the full participation of historically underrepresented students in CS. “The gap between the supply and demand of computer science-certified teachers is vast and nowhere is this more true than with underrepresented populations. This work, then, serves to fill that gap through the systemization of a pathway for the production and support of highly qualified CS teachers. This pathway currently exists across the UTeach network for other STEM fields and we are grateful for this opportunity to allocate significant resources towards expanding our reach to include CS while serving a more diverse student/teacher population,” says Dr. Ruthanne Thompson, Distinguished Teaching Professor and co-director of Teach North Texas at the University of North Texas.

This project, working in four regions, addresses the significant shortage of qualified CS teachers by preparing 120 new STEM teachers, including 40 CS teachers, through expanded UTeach pathways to teaching. The project will prepare another 160 in-service teachers to offer rigorous computer science coursework using the College Board-endorsed, UTeach CS Principles curriculum and a new UTeach CS A curriculum.

“This project significantly benefits classroom teachers, schools, and districts, directly and immediately through in-service teacher development. At the same time, we will work to build a robust CS teacher preparation pipeline at UTeach programs in Texas and Louisiana. We expect to further expand new CS pathways across the network of 44 UTeach university partners as a result of this initiative,” says Kimberly Hughes, Director of the UTeach Institute at the University of Texas at Austin and Principal Investigator.

For two decades, the UTeach pre-service teacher preparation program at The University of Texas at Austin has prepared large numbers of STEM majors to enter (and stay in) secondary classrooms. And since 2007, the UTeach Institute has recruited and supported 44 universities across the U.S. to establish their own UTeach programs.

With support from the National Science Foundation, the UTeach Computer Science program leverages the teacher development and STEM content expertise developed through UTeach to scale the UTeach CS Principles curriculum and teacher support as a College Board-endorsed provider for the AP® Computer Science Principles program. For more information or questions, please contact winters [at] uteach.utexas.edu (subject: SEED%20Grant) (Amy Winters) or call 512-232-2771.